Italian Chicken and Vegetable Casserole

By • October 2, 2017 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Must be the onset of autumn, plus how busy the academic year is... cook on the weekends, reheat during the week. This dish was a 100% invention from top to bottom, inspired by some parts of the meatball casserole you can find elsewhere. I made this as a deep casserole, layered. That meatball dish used that ricotta layer in it, so I ported that over.Brian Coppola

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Serves 12-18

Sauce

  • 28 ounces DOP San Marzano tomatoes
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons thyme
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 sweet onions, finely diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons roasted garlic, minced
  1. Dice and start to caramelize the onion in some EVOO. About halfway through, add in the peppers. Half is used for the sauce; the other half for the dish.
  2. Put all of the ingredients for the sauce, including half of the onion and peppers, in a food processor and blend well.

Casserole and Assembly

  • 4-5 cups head cauliflower, chopped large
  • 4-5 cups broccoli, chopped large
  • 8 ounces ricotta
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 egg
  • 2 roasted chickens, rough pull meat
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • 8 ounces shredded Italian 4-cheese mix
  1. The deli counters at most store do a nice job with roasting chickens, so I just buy two whole roasted chickens and pull the meat, which saves hours of roasting time.
  2. Layer 1: Pour a cup of sauce into the pepper and onions and place in the bottom of a large/tall casserole.
  3. Layer 2: Combine ricotta and softened cream cheese with an egg, white pepper, and oregano. Mix the broccoli and cauliflower into the ricotta mixture and layer onto the onions and peppers.
  4. Layer 3: 8 oz shredded mozzarella.
  5. Layer 4: Mix 2 cups of sauce with the chicken, and layer onto the cheese.
  6. Layer 5: Add the remaining sauce; top with 8 oz Italian cheese mixture.
  7. Cover and bake for 45 minutes at 350 F. Serve with a dusting of grated parmesan cheese.
  8. About 1/18 of this is a pretty reasonable serving, clocking in at only about 260 calories (12 g fat and 17 total carbs)

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